“It was better during the Derg, at that time the Ethiopians tortured us, but that made us only more determined in our struggle to become independent . Today, it is our own people who torture us, something which breaks down our spirit as there is no hope for the future. “ Eritrean refugee in Sudan (2008).

The prisoner

One bullet you are dead in a hurry
Would be a gift in the land of the furry.

You rise at 5:00 am for interrogation
Tied on a tree, beaten to bleed with no justification.

Thrown back into the cell for the tears to dry
Though there is no energy left to vent and cry.

At 8:00 am we are herded to the field
Unable to walk for my feet are full of wound.

Gets pushed and shoved by the frustrated guard
Hurry! He shouts and beats me hard.

All this to answer the call of nature
The gun on my head and continuous torture.

I go back to my cell and find it ten degrees hotter,
The weather cooperates with the frustrated soldier.

Water please! I cry with a dry throat,
A cup of tea with a crumb of bread is what he brought.

Sweat all over with pain and agony,
Flat on my face I wished for slavery.

Broken spirit with a lost dignity
I am confused completely with their cruelty.

What did I do? What is my fault?
Could it be what I said or wrote?
But what if I say anything or I write?
Isn’t It too much already when I lost my sight?

This goes beyond the physical torture
All the struggle since 1974
Sad incomprehensible closure.

Prohibited to talk,
No media to ask.

Mental anguish inside

NO way, not today.

It is now 8 pm I can feel the chill in my bones
Sleeping on the floor with pillow stones.

Nine years of interrogation
Nine years of submission
Slow torturous murder
Let it be! I shall not surrender.

I wish:
One bullet you are dead in a hurry
Would be a gift in the land of the furry.